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Archives from August 2013
The Banality of Empire
JASON HIRTHLER
You have to ask: does Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have a death wish, launching a chemical attack within miles of a U.N. chemical inspection team? He must. Like those cloistered mullahs in Qom, whom Zionist sage Benjamin Netanyahu claims would fire a nuclear warhead a...
Is the Big Money Exiting Housing?
MIKE WHITNEY
According to a report by Goldman Sachs, approximately 57 percent of the homes that were purchased in the first quarter of 2013 were all-cash deals. In 2005, the peak of the bubble, all cash buyers represented a mere 19 percent of all transactions. The amount of investor c...
Kosovo: Where NATO Bombing Only Made the Killing Worse
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
So, was there serious evidence of a Serbian campaign of Genocide in Kosovo? It’s an important issue, since the NATO powers, fortified by a chorus from the liberal intelligentsia, flourished the charge of genocide as justification for bombing that destroyed much of Serbi...
John Kerry’s Tender Sensibilities
KEVIN CARSON
In response to Bashir Assad’s crossing of a “red line” by allegedly using chemical weapons against his own people, Secretary of State John Kerry cites his own fatherly feelings as justification for the all-but-inevitable looming US military intervention in Syria. ...
US Lacks Moral Standing to Condemn Syria
SHELDON RICHMAN
Whether or not Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, President Obama has no legitimate grounds to intervene. U.S. airstrikes, intended to punish and deter Assad and degrade his military but not overthrow his regime, would deepen the U.S. investme...
A View From Tehran
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tehran Truth told, it’s a bit intense these days in Tehran as in most other countries in this region, and this observer fairly soon may be on what just might be the last Tehran-Damascus flight for some time in light of what could occur in the coming days...
An Interview With Leslie Cockburn
ROBERT ASAHINA
Robert Asahina: You’ve had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, TV news producer, nonfiction author, documentary filmmaker, and feature movie producer. What made you decide to write a novel? Leslie Cockburn: I had wanted to write ...
Marching Toward Syria and Beyond
BEN SCHREINER
With Syria firmly in the cross hairs, Washington’s war cries are nearing a crescendo. Playing the tried and true chemical weapons card—played ...
Lebanon, Car Bombs and a New Era of Violence
RANNIE AMIRI
Car bombs have always been the preferred method of political assassination in Lebanon. The most recent was the October 2012 killing of intelligence chief Wisam al-Hasan, a harsh reminder that covert funding of Syria’s militant groups by government officials would not go...
Autoworkers Under the Gun
ANDY PIASCIK
The sit-down strike by General Motors workers in the winter of 1936-37 was one of the galvanizing events in U.S. labor history. Similarly, the efforts of the primarily African-American autoworkers of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement and the other RUM’s sparked...
The War Train to Syria
PAUL STREET
A United States military attack on Syria appears to be imminent. Imperial U.S. and British warships are in position in the blue waters of the Mediterranean, loaded for “surgical” acts of war against the Bashar al-Assad regime. The junior British and French partners ar...
What’s Really Fueling the Western Fires
GEORGE WUERTHNER
One of the often repeated remarks used to explain the large fires we are experiencing around the West is that a hundred years of fire suppression has led to unnatural accumulations of fuels. Yet such assertions assume that fire suppression was always efficient and ...
Dispatch From Seoul
GREGORY ELICH
Seoul, South Korea. Sixty years have passed since the end of the Korean War, and still the sides remain technically at war. The armistice that ended hostilities was meant to be a temporary measure leading to the signing of a peace treaty. Within three mont...
Obama’s Road to Damascus
RAOUF J. HALABY
On Sunday, August 25, 2013, First Baptist Church, Arkadelphia, Arkansas preacher Lee McGlone delivered his morning sermon under the title “The Reluctant Witness” and used the text from the Book of Acts, Chapter 9, verses 10-22, as the centerpiece around which ...
As the World Turns
Dr. JANETTE SHERMAN
- No not that one, the soap opera that ran from 1956 to 2010, but our world that turns.  As we look at a weather map on TV or in our paper, we see clouds, rain, snow, and storms coming from west to east.  What is in the air above the earth precipitat...
Why Syria?
Dr. STANLY JOHNY
History repeats itself. Not as a farce; but as tragedy. Those who witnessed the White House-led propaganda against Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 American war on that country cannot miss the startling similarities between those days and the past few ones. Replace Iraq wit...
Obama is Playing With Fire in Syria
IBRAHIM KAZEROONI and ROB PRINCE
“Now we sit and wait while the Washington regime makes its next lethal move. Let us lift our voices in unison to prevent it. “ “Before another rush to judgment and “punishment” based on a presumption of guilt, as in Iraq, this time, let ...
What Contingent Faculty Can Learn From Fast-Food Workers
BRIAN HAMAN
It has become a truism in American higher education: seventy-five percent of undergraduate courses at U.S. colleges and universities are taught by contingent faculty1, most of whom lack health insurance,...
North Carolina “Moral Mondays”
JACK RASMUS
On Wednesday, August 28, 2013, the 50th anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington, commemorative speeches spilled out over the DC mall. From President Obama and other carefully selected political ‘notables’, speakers...
Climate Change and Social Change
ROGER ANNIS
August 27, 2013–As the toxic oil from the July 6 oil train disaster in Lac Mégantic, Quebec seeps deeper into the town center’s soil and disperses into waterways, and as town residents slowly reestablish their shattered lives, the corporate interests that caused ...
Canada Ties Itself to Washington
YVES ENGLER
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s recent mission to Latin America cannot mask Canada’s unprecedented diplomatic isolation in the hemisphere. Despite shifting ‘aid’ to the region and claiming to have made Latin America a priority, Ottawa is increasingly offside...
Unilaterally Striking Syria
BINOY KAMPMARK
It is happening, again. The grotesque similarities are haunting. Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States, along with its faithful, evangelically led air craft carrier in the form of Britain, decided to treat the United Nations as a body of opinion rather th...
Obama’s Impeachment Trap
KEVIN ZEESE
The irony of the Obama presidency may hinge on whether he attacks Syria.  He began his presidency prematurely winning the Nobel Peace Prize and could end it being impeached for starting an illegal war without congressional or UN approval – violating both domestic and i...
A Terribly Human Challenge
JULIE WARK
In 1 October 1965, following an alleged “attempted Communist coup”, a group of Indonesian army leaders embarked on one of the worst crimes in human history – the organised massacre of probably more than a million people (nobody counted), mainly members of the Commun...
A Remembrance for Labor Day
DAVID MACARAY
Because of our fascination with glamour and money, mundane events that happen in Hollywood seem way more exciting than mundane events that happen elsewhere. This goes for everything from Hollywood courtships, to Hollywood marriages and divorces, to Hollywood babies, to Ho...
Obama’s Dark Theatrics
PAUL GOTTINGER
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate himself, Obama, weighed in on the human rights abuses being carried out by the U.S. ...
Protesting Teachers Block Mexico City Airport
JOHNNY HAZARD
Thousands of teachers (seven thousand, according to detractors, more according to organizers), members of a dissident caucus within the dominant Mexican teachers union, blocked access to the Mexico City airport for about 11 hours on Friday July 23. The action was part of ...
The Limits to State Power
ANN GARRISON
The California prison hunger strike against inhumane prison conditions has passed its 50th day and Governor Brown has to decide.  WIll he negotiate about their basic demands, and if not, will he allow them to die protesting? At least 45 hunger strikers ha...
Vermont Yankee Joins the Tsunami of US Reactor Shutdowns
HARVEY WASSERMAN
In a huge victory for the grass-roots movement for a green-powered earth, Entergy has announced it will shut its Vermont Yankee reactor by the end of next year. “It’s fantastic,” says longtime safe-energy activist Deb Katz. “This is such a win for the peopl...
Object Permanence
MISSY BEATTIE
The Empire marches on. Next stop and drop, Syria. Accomplishing missions. The top stories on Google News this morning (Monday) are chemical weapons in Syria and Miley Cyrus’s gyrations and crotch grabbing as she performed “We Can’t Stop.” We. Can’t. Stop....
Freedom From Jobs
ELLIOT SPERBER
As the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington DC – the March for Jobs and Freedom immortalized by Martin Luther King’s iconic I Have a Dream speech – is celebrated and discussed around the country, it is important to note that though some gains...
Obama’s War Desk
DAVE LANNEN
Mr. Obama’s war desk is heavy with burdensome issues concerning Syria.  Given three minutes of his time I would share the following prospective – of which his advisors are ill-informed; that of a little girl and a soldier. The choreographed chaos in our tent h...
My Surprisingly Inspiring Trip to the West Bank
JEFF COHEN
As I prepared for a grueling fact-finding trip to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank (occupied for 46 years), Secretary of State Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority had agreed to resume peace talks without preconditions. On the day ...
Socialists and the ‘Pet’ Contradiction
JON HOCHSCHARTNER
Socialists, like everyone else, absorb our culture’s contradictory messages regarding the value of animals. We learn that certain species, such as dogs and cats, should be cherished as members of our families. While other other species, such as pigs and chickens, sh...
A “New Idea” From 1980s
STEVE EARLY
In the run-up to their convention next month in Los Angeles, top AFL-CIO officials have welcomed closer ties with non-labor groups and associations of workers’ who lack bargaining rights. In an interview with USA Today this summer, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka claim...
Empty Life
CHARLES R. LARSON
A few years ago I read John Williams’ masterpiece, ...
Opposition to Iraq War May Save Syria
DAVIS SWANSON
Evidence of “weapons of mass destruction” is “no slam dunk,” U.S. officials are saying this time around, reversing the claim made about Iraq by then-CIA director George Tenet. Opposition to a U.S.-led attack on Syria is growing rapidly...
The Unrehearsed Flight to Transhumanity
NORMAN BALL
To the busy men of science, we laymen are the intended audience only for yesterday’s news. In part, it’s a sly tactic. They alert us belatedly to keep things forever from our reach. In another sense, they’re always flying by the seat of their pants on fire. Either w...
The Only Alternative
MICHAEL BRENNER
Innovation and fresh thinking are alien to American foreign policy – as is true in most countries. Conservatism of thought and method flows naturally from situations characterized by high risk and uncertainly – as is the norm in still unruly international relations. R...
Wakoski and Smith-Ferri
POETS' BASEMENT
“Frisked For Butterflies” by DIANE WAKOSKI It felt so frivolous to be patted down, not for weapons or drugs, but for some hitchhiking Lepidoptera, who might cling inside our coats, tucked restless und...
Red Lines Drawn with Syrian Blood
MUSA al-GHARBI
It doesn’t matter whether or not Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. The US and its allies are likely to carry out an attack on Syria in the very near future; the reasons for this have nothing to do with the recent incident in Ghouta. In respo...
Preparing For More Slaughter in Syria
CHRIS FLOYD
At some point in the next few hours or days, it is likely that deeply damaged collection of moral cretins known as “Western leaders”, will sit down behind the gargantuan phalanxes of heavily armed security that keeps their well-wadded rumps safe and cozy and g...
The Politics of Death
RAMZY BAROUD
How many Egyptians have been killed since the January 2011 revolt? My pursuit for exact figures has proven to be futile. Various sources suggest all sorts of numbers, some scrambled in such a way as to make a political point. It is as if the life of the ordinary Egyptian ...
The Subterfuge of Syrian Chemical Weapons
NICOLA NASSER
The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on this August 26 removed the sword of the alleged Syrian chemical weapons from its sheath and let the snow ball of this subterfuge for a military aggression on Syria roll unchecked, raising the stakes from asking whether “it will ...
Beckoning Committed Climate Activists
PATRICK BOND
The northern hemisphere summer has just peaked and though the torrid heat is now ebbing, it is evident the climate crisis is far more severe than most scientists had anticipated. The latest report of the UN ...
Killing Civilians to Protect Civilians
MARJORIE COHN and JEANNE MIRER
The drums of war are beating again. The Obama administration will reportedly launch a military strike to punish Syria’s Assad government for its alleged use of chemical weapons. A military attack would invariably kill civilians for the ostensible purpose of showing the ...
Americans Oppose Criminal US Syrian Attack
DAVE LINDORFF
f you needed more evidence that former president Jimmy Carter was corre...
With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Friends?
KEVIN CARSON
The U.S. government’s persecution of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning (who came out publicly as a transgender woman after sentencing) is the latest example of a general rule: In the transitional struggle between networks and hierarchies, sometimes networks’ most pow...
Ascent of the Kurds
CONN HALLINAN
For almost a century, the Kurds–one of the world’s largest ethnic groups without its own state–have been deceived and double-crossed, their language and culture suppressed, their villages burned and bombed, and their people scattered. But because o...
Study Abroad as Neo-Colonial Tourism
JESSICA NAMAKKAL
Amongst continued reports in the Western media of sexual violence in India, including gang rapes that have resulted in death, a young woman, a student at the University of Chicago, recently wrote an essay for cnn.com, ...